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Bond: The Living Daylights

11.11.2008

After the A VIEW TO A KILL debacle, it was obvious that Roger Moore was a little long in the tooth to continue playing Bond. Cubby Broccoli had to find himself a new actor to fill Mooreís shoes, and he settled on TV actor Pierce Brosnan, who had built up a solid fan base playing "Remington Steele." At the last second, the producers of that show opted for another season and refused to release Brosnan from his contract.

Broccoli eventually settled on Shakespearian actor Timothy Dalton, and the script for the new film was tailored to suit Dalton, and his darker approach to the character. But the question remained- how would audiences react to this new dark direction?

THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS

PLOT: When a recently defected KGB agent is kidnapped, Bond is called in to investigate, leading him to a plot involving the Russian war in Afghanistan, and a multi-billion dollar opium smuggling operation.

REVIEW: Timothy Dalton gets a bad wrap these days. While everyone loves Daniel Craig, and his new, dark Bond, nobody gives Dalton any credit for taking the same approach twenty years before Craig ever slipped on his tux.

To be sure, THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS is nowhere near as dark as Daltonís next film, LICENSE TO KILL, but itís still a lot grittier than any Moore outing. It had a topical plot involving glasnost, the war on drugs, and the Russian war in Afghanistan. Nowadays, the film doesnít get a lot of play for similar reasons to RAMBO III- as involves Bond teaming up the mujahideen, which eventually gave way to a radical splinter group- the Taliban, and Osama Bin Laden. Still, one really needs to consider the era this film was made in.

Itís a real shame that THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS has been more or less forgotten, as itís actually a rock solid Bond flick- albeit a more earthbound Bond than anyone had seen in a while. Thereís a lot to recommend here- with tons of great actions scenes (including a few great hand to hand fights), a tight pace, a more involving than usual plot, and a surprisingly nice romance between Bond and his leading lady. Itís a real Bond sleeper as far as Iím concerned, and people should give the DVD a spin.

BOND

Dalton did a rock solid job in his first Bond outing. Being a Welshman, Dalton brings a lot of gravitas to the role, and I enjoyed his grittier, but still suave, take on Bond.

VILLAIN

While I like this film, the stable of villains are incredibly weak. While Jeroen Krabbť as Koskov is probably the main villain, heís not the least bit threatening. Joe Don Baker, as the arms dealing Brad Whitaker has far too little screen time to be considered a primary villain, leaving us with Andreas Wisniewski as Necros- the KGB assassin stalking Bond throughout. Necros is really more of a henchman than true villain, but he has a few wicked fight scenes- although itís painfully obvious that he was looped for the role, and looks a little too much like a Euro male model (which he actually was) to be considered a threat for Bond.

BOND GIRL

Maryam díAbo as Kara Milovy, actually has one of the better Bond roles in awhile. She gets a lot of screen time, and while I donít find her one of the hotter Bond girls, sheís likable and endearing.

BOND MUSIC: John Barry is back- providing a solid Bond score, although itís a little too synth heavy at times (this WAS the eighties after all). Norwegian one-hit wonders A-Ha are on board for the theme song. Supposedly Barry had such a lousy time working with them; he decided to retire from the series. I think I speak for all Bond fans when I say- F**k A-Ha!

BODY COUNT: Only four- but thereís still a ton of action in this film, and huge RAMBO style machine gun battles towards the end.

NUMBER OF WOMEN BOND SLEEPS WITH: THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS went into production just as AIDS was starting to make the news, so an effort was made to tone down Bondís sexcapades, leading him to only bedding one woman in this outing- ALTHOUGH he also hooks up with a woman on a yacht near the beginning that he may or may not have nailed.

BEST ONE- LINER: Bond fights an enemy while hanging off a planeís cargo net. He eventually gains the upper hand, and the villain is left hanging on to Bondís boot for dear life. Bond then proceeds to slowly cut the shoelaces, sending the villain to his death. When he returns to the cockpit, Kara asks ďwhat happenedĒ, to which Bond replies ďhe got the bootĒ.

BEST DOUBLE ENTENDRE: Linda is a bored yacht owner looking for some excitement.
Linda: [into phone] It's all so boring here, Margo - there's nothing but playboys and tennis pros.
[sighs] Linda: If only I could find a real man.
[Bond, having just fought a KGB assassin in a burning truck in mid-air, parachutes onto the yacht]
Bond: I need to use your phone.
[takes it and says into it] Bond: She'll call you back.
Linda: You are who?
Bond: Bond, James Bond.
[into phone] Bond: Exercise Control, 007 here. I'll report in an hour.
Linda: [offering drink] Won't you join me?
Bond: [into phone] Better make that two.

BEST GADGET: : Bond has a nifty little keychain that releases stun gas when you whistle into it.

RECEPTION: While everyone assumes both Dalton movies failed at the box office, THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS was actually a modest hit, pulling in $50 million in the U.S, and $140 Million worldwide, and a $30 Million budget.

GRADE: 8/10- a very solid Bond film that deserves another look.

Previous reviews: DR. NO, FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE , GOLDFINGER, THUNDERBALL, YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE, ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE, DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER , LIVE AND LET DIE, THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN, THE SPY WHO LOVED ME, MOONRAKER, FOR YOUR EYES ONLY, OCTOPUSSY, NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN, A VIEW TO A KILL

Source: JoBlo.com

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5:46AM on 11/12/2008
Dalton wasn't so bad at all, just that license to kill was a terrible movie which tainted him. Living Daylights was decent, but this whole comparing him to Craig thing is out of hand. Craig IS James Bond. Dalton never really sold the character to me cause he lost the wit, and the swagga of the character in general. Yes the gritt is great but what craig got right was that he embodied both and he portrays a ruthless assasin who is entertaining while he's being ruthless where as Dalton has this
Dalton wasn't so bad at all, just that license to kill was a terrible movie which tainted him. Living Daylights was decent, but this whole comparing him to Craig thing is out of hand. Craig IS James Bond. Dalton never really sold the character to me cause he lost the wit, and the swagga of the character in general. Yes the gritt is great but what craig got right was that he embodied both and he portrays a ruthless assasin who is entertaining while he's being ruthless where as Dalton has this boring persona that doesn't do it for me. Brosnan (Golden Eye) was the SHIT. Craig, Connery, Brosnan, Dalton, Moore... Craig's phisique is off the chain and he really just pulls it off for me. I could see Craig in remakes of the older ones, but can you see the other's in Craig's movies?
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12:28AM on 11/12/2008

i think dalton

is underrated he 's convinceing as a ladiesman and a spy something moore had lost toward the end

a very solid flick

8/10
is underrated he 's convinceing as a ladiesman and a spy something moore had lost toward the end

a very solid flick

8/10
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11:59PM on 11/11/2008

WHOOOO HOOO!

Dalton was 'the man.'

I'm listening to the theme "Mujahadin and Opium" on Youtube now as I type this.

Dalton actually was working with a script that was meant for Pierce Brosnan, since it wasn't known if Brosnan would be on board. {Brosnan was still on 'Remington Steele' at the time).

Dalton was going for a more serious Bond, but the scripts (although better than what Moore was working with and played off of) were still lacking.

Still, Dalton delivered.

Maryam D'Abo isn't an
Dalton was 'the man.'

I'm listening to the theme "Mujahadin and Opium" on Youtube now as I type this.

Dalton actually was working with a script that was meant for Pierce Brosnan, since it wasn't known if Brosnan would be on board. {Brosnan was still on 'Remington Steele' at the time).

Dalton was going for a more serious Bond, but the scripts (although better than what Moore was working with and played off of) were still lacking.

Still, Dalton delivered.

Maryam D'Abo isn't an attractive Bond girl; and I forgot to note that even 'A View to a Kill' didn't have any attractive Bond girls.

A BIG NOTE: The opening with A-ha's music was very cool; and even the ending with music from The Pretenders was just smooth....!

One thing for sure: Dalton had some of the best openings and endings....

7.5/10
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6:08PM on 11/11/2008
I love the Living Daylights. Dalton is so underrated. If you doubt how fucking badass he is, all you have to do watch him steal every scene in Hot Fuzz. Living Daylights is the best Bond of the 80's, even though License to Kill is pretty laughable (Dalton still kicks ass though).
I love the Living Daylights. Dalton is so underrated. If you doubt how fucking badass he is, all you have to do watch him steal every scene in Hot Fuzz. Living Daylights is the best Bond of the 80's, even though License to Kill is pretty laughable (Dalton still kicks ass though).
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4:02PM on 11/11/2008
Dalton really tapped the Bond of the Flemming novels rather than the last few movies which is why he's always been my favorite Bond.
Dalton really tapped the Bond of the Flemming novels rather than the last few movies which is why he's always been my favorite Bond.
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2:35PM on 11/11/2008

Dalton Rocks!

Love Dalton. Like most, he is my second fav bond after Connery and currently tied with Craig. Dalton brought a viciousness to the role that was missing in all the previous movies. Great first outing for the original "dark" Bond.
Love Dalton. Like most, he is my second fav bond after Connery and currently tied with Craig. Dalton brought a viciousness to the role that was missing in all the previous movies. Great first outing for the original "dark" Bond.
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11:41AM on 11/11/2008
Pretty much agree with everyone here. Dalton gets bad buzz for no, absolutely no reason. He is rock solid as Bond ans way better than Moore ever was. The Living Daylights and License To Kill are both amoung my top 10 Bond films.
Pretty much agree with everyone here. Dalton gets bad buzz for no, absolutely no reason. He is rock solid as Bond ans way better than Moore ever was. The Living Daylights and License To Kill are both amoung my top 10 Bond films.
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10:20AM on 11/11/2008

DALTON IS MY FAVORITE BOND

I've been waiting patiently for the Dalton films to be reviewed and I'm glad you give credit to Dalton when most people either don't remember him or diss him.

LOL Is there any possible way to bring him back as Bond?

I like Craig but like you said he gets way too much credit for doing what Dalton did 20 years before him. Dalton's easily my favorite Bond and even though he played the role tough and gritty, he still added some fun to his two films which is sorely lacking from Craig's
I've been waiting patiently for the Dalton films to be reviewed and I'm glad you give credit to Dalton when most people either don't remember him or diss him.

LOL Is there any possible way to bring him back as Bond?

I like Craig but like you said he gets way too much credit for doing what Dalton did 20 years before him. Dalton's easily my favorite Bond and even though he played the role tough and gritty, he still added some fun to his two films which is sorely lacking from Craig's films.

Looking forward to tomorrow's "Licence to Kill" review. That's my favorite Bond film and in a way shows that Dalton left the series in a better way than any of the other actors. He was supposed to be in Goldeneye but exercised his right to leave the franchise rather than continue playing Bond. It's my favorite Brosnan film but I can only imagine how awesome it would have been with Dalton.
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10:16AM on 11/11/2008

Brilliant Bond film

Probably the best Bond film since From Russia With Love and Goldfinger. And a-ha were only one-hit wonders in the states. In the rest of the world a-ha have had 9 hit albums and over 40 singles.
Probably the best Bond film since From Russia With Love and Goldfinger. And a-ha were only one-hit wonders in the states. In the rest of the world a-ha have had 9 hit albums and over 40 singles.
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9:54AM on 11/11/2008

Dalton own!

Dalton is my fav Bond after Connery and Craig, he never got the respect he deserved and that's a shame, cause his two Bond outing were pretty tight in my book. And like Chris says in his review, he beat Daniel Craig to the punch by playing it grounded and down and dirty first. VIVA DALTON!
Dalton is my fav Bond after Connery and Craig, he never got the respect he deserved and that's a shame, cause his two Bond outing were pretty tight in my book. And like Chris says in his review, he beat Daniel Craig to the punch by playing it grounded and down and dirty first. VIVA DALTON!
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9:39AM on 11/11/2008
I like this review its mos def one the underappreciated Bonds Im in the minority of people who liked Dalton as Bond I do like Licence to Kill better but this is a good solid entry to the franchise nontheless.
I like this review its mos def one the underappreciated Bonds Im in the minority of people who liked Dalton as Bond I do like Licence to Kill better but this is a good solid entry to the franchise nontheless.
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9:09AM on 11/11/2008
This is the very first Bond movie I saw when I was a little kid, and for me it still holds up well. Dalton made a damn great Bond. In my opinion he's the most under-rated of all the Bond actors. I agree the villains aren't much (I half expect Joe Don Baker to come after Bond with a big 2X4 at the end), and it is a little odd seeing Bond join forces with "Afghan Freedom Fighters." But still, this is a great one overall.

8.5/10
This is the very first Bond movie I saw when I was a little kid, and for me it still holds up well. Dalton made a damn great Bond. In my opinion he's the most under-rated of all the Bond actors. I agree the villains aren't much (I half expect Joe Don Baker to come after Bond with a big 2X4 at the end), and it is a little odd seeing Bond join forces with "Afghan Freedom Fighters." But still, this is a great one overall.

8.5/10
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8:50AM on 11/11/2008
I completely agree; I prefer Dalton's next (and last) entry, but The Living Daylights is a great, action-packed entry. I also noticed how Craig and Dalton's Bonds are alike.
I completely agree; I prefer Dalton's next (and last) entry, but The Living Daylights is a great, action-packed entry. I also noticed how Craig and Dalton's Bonds are alike.
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7:59AM on 11/11/2008
I totally love The Living Daylights and I double-dipped the DVD. Sure, Daniel Craig's Bond now is way more brooding than Dalton's Bond. But Dalton's Bond bring realism back to 007 franchise since Moore's Bond. And that A-Ha song is very memorable.
I totally love The Living Daylights and I double-dipped the DVD. Sure, Daniel Craig's Bond now is way more brooding than Dalton's Bond. But Dalton's Bond bring realism back to 007 franchise since Moore's Bond. And that A-Ha song is very memorable.
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